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Four fire engines and 21 firefighters and officers were called to a fire at a shop in Balls Pond Road, Islington.

A ground floor shop was gutted by the blaze. Part of a first floor and part of the external facia was also damaged by fire.

One man suffered from smoke inhalation and was taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service crews.

The fire is believed to have been caused by a discarded cigarette.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “It’s absolutely vital you ensure your cigarette is completely out when you’ve finished smoking it. If you don’t, you risk causing a fire that could destroy not only your home, but also your life.”

London Fire Brigade’s advice for smokers

  • Put it out, right out – always make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished.
  • Take extra care when you’re tired or have been drinking alcohol. It’s very easy to fall asleep without realising that your cigarette is still burning.
  • Never smoke in bed – if you need to lie down, don’t light up. You could doze off and set your bed on fire.
  • Never leave lit cigarettes cigars or pipes unattended – they can easily overbalance as they burn down, land on a carpet or newspaper and start a fire.
  • Where possible buy child-resistant lighters and matchboxes – every year children die by starting fires with matches and lighters.
  • Use a proper, heavy ashtray that can’t tip over easily and is made of a material that won’t burn.
  • Tap your ash into an ashtray – never a wastebasket – and don’t let the ash or cigarette ends build up in the ashtray.
  • Fit and maintain a smoke alarm on each level of your home – when a fire starts, you only have a few minutes to escape. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and dial 999.

The Brigade was called at 1814 and the fire was under control at 1906. Fire crews from Islington, Stoke Newington, Shoreditch and Homerton fire stations attended the scene.

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